Get Answers to Questions on Family Planning, Title X, Contraception, & More
What will my first visit to a family planning clinic be like?
If you’ve never been to a healthcare clinic before, you might not know what to expect. Staff at Title X (ten) clinics are caring professionals who want to make you feel comfortable. At your first clinic visit, a counselor will explain the health care services available and what will be involved during your initial visit. They will ask for information about your medical history and explain any lab tests that might be done.
If you are a minor (under the age of 18), a staff person will discuss ways to promote conversation with family about your reproductive health. They will explain the different methods of contraception (birth control), including how each method is used, how it prevents pregnancy, and what side effects might occur. Additionally, they will discuss the benefits of using abstinence (not having sex) as a method of birth control.
After that, a physician or nurse practitioner will do a medical examination. The exam might include:
- A review of your health history
- Listen to your heart and lungs
- A breast exam
- Instruction about breast self-examination
- A pelvic exam
- A PAP test (a screening test for cervical cancer)
- Lab tests as necessary
- STD screening
What services are available at Title X clinics?
Services include but are not limited to various methods of birth control, cervical and breast cancer screening, pelvic exams, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy testing and counseling. Call your local clinic to ask for more information about specific services!
How do I know what birth control to use?
A great way to decide which type of birth control is best for you is to talk with a trained clinician about your specific needs. Locate a clinic near you and schedule an appointment, or learn about different types of birth control.
Do men need to get reproductive health exams too?
It is a good idea for males who are sexually active to be screened for STIs regularly. They can also receive information on effective condom use and learn how to perform a testicular self-exam. Learn more about health services for males at FPCI clinics.
How do I know if I have a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)?
The only way to know for certain that someone has a STI is to be tested. Many individuals have a STI and do not show any symptoms.
However, if you have had unprotected intercourse and you have any of the symptoms listed, you should consult your healthcare provider:
- Unusual discharge from the vagina or penis
- Pain or burning while urinating
- Painful intercourse (for women)
- Blistery sores
- Warts on genitals
Some people can have a STI and not have any early symptoms, which is why it is important to be tested regularly. You should always use condoms or another barrier method when you have intercourse to help reduce your chances of getting an infection.
How do I make a family planning appointment?
Use our clinic locator to find a clinic near you and contact them to make an appointment.
How much does birth control cost?
The amount you pay for services and supplies depends on your income. All Title X clinics have a sliding fee scale. If you are worried about not being able to afford services, that is okay. No person will be denied services at a Title X clinic because they are unable to pay.
Do I need my parents’ permission to get birth control or receive other services?
Under Iowa law persons under the age of 18 do not need their parents’ permission to get birth control and related reproductive health services. Staff at Title X (ten) clinics will encourage minors to talk with their parents or other trusted adults about their thoughts and feelings about birth control and their visit to a Family Planning Clinic.
What is the morning-after pill?
What is known as the “morning-after pill” is a type of emergency contraception (EC) that can be taken after unprotected sex. It can be used after a condom breaks, after a sexual assault, or any time a woman has unprotected sex. EC pills must be taken within 5 days (120 hours) of unprotected sex, but it is most effective when taken within 24 hours. The sooner you take it, the more effective it will be. If you are already pregnant and use Next Choice®/Plan B One-Step® it will not harm your baby or end the pregnancy. You should have EC on hand in case you need it. Many emergency contraceptives are available over the counter at your local pharmacy.
What is Title X (Ten)?
Title X (ten) is a federally funded family planning program that provides reproductive health care to individuals seeking such care. The Title X program is administered by the Family Planning Council of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Public health in clinics throughout the state of Iowa.